The law of conservation of energy, which states that the amount of energy in a system is constant. For questions about Earth's environment, see the climate-science tag instead.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

-2
votes
0answers
33 views

Conservation of mechanical energy [on hold]

Think of a case where non-conservative force does positive work. In this case, my teacher said that mechanical energy will not change. But work done by non-conservative force = total final ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Feynman's paradox : “conservation of angular momentum or Lenz's law ?” [duplicate]

When I was in high school, out of my interest I read electro-magnetism topic from Feynman's lecture on physics. There was a Paradox question in that topic, answer of which i am seeking here... Below ...
34
votes
4answers
17k views

Why can't energy be created or destroyed?

My physics instructor told the class, when lecturing about energy, that it can't be created or destroyed. Why is that? Is there a theory or scientific evidence that proves his statement true or ...
9
votes
2answers
87 views
+50

Are mechanical energy of an element of a rope and energy density constant in the case of mechanical waves?

I'm confused about energy driven by a wave. Consider a sinousoidal wave moving in a rope. In my view each element $dm$ of the rope follows a simple harmonic motion in time. That means that the ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Solid Sphere rolling down a 2 rail track - How can I find the velocity of the center of mass? [on hold]

There is a sphere rolling down a 2 rail track, it started from rest from a height h. I need to find the velocity of the center of mass. So far I have written the ...
1
vote
2answers
7k views

Why can't we destroy energy?

From a wikipedia article: In physics, the law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system cannot change—it is said to be conserved over time. Energy can be neither ...
6
votes
1answer
398 views

Conservation of energy when focusing black body radiation on another black body

This question about whether or not it is possible to focus black-body radiation to make something hotter than the radiation's source was answered mostly negative: the second law of thermodynamics ...
7
votes
4answers
675 views

Optimal speed for the water wheel

The hydroelectricity plants extract the potential energy of highly deployed massive object (water) as it falls down. Without turbine, all that energy would be converted into speed (kinetic energy) at ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

Work done by friction on a body?

I know that when a body slides over a surface, the work done by friction is not stored as potential energy in the body. It is dissipated in the form of heat. But why is it not stored as potential ...
-3
votes
0answers
34 views

Speed of the blocks at the point when they swap positions [closed]

Two blocks are connected with a light string that is hung over a pulley, as shown in the diagram to the right. One block has twice the mass of the other, and the pulley has the same mass as the ...
-1
votes
1answer
22 views

Change in Translation Kinetic Energy to Rotational Kinetic energy [closed]

A 56kg student runs at 5. 0 m/s, grabs a 10m hanging rope, and swings out over a lake. He releases the rope when his velocity is zero. What is the angle Q when he releases the rope? What is the ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

Conservation of energy in a sound wave

I have two ultrasonic transducers, an emitter and a receiver, and I'd like to know how the energy of the spherical wave is conserved. I guess the energy is proportional to its amplitude and it ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Velocity Related To Gravitation [closed]

Which Equation is correct $v^2=\large{\frac{2GM}r}$ OR $v^2=\large{\frac{GM}r}$? I am getting confused here.
1
vote
3answers
56 views

Is conservation of energy only for isolated systems?

I am thinking in the mechanical context. Everywhere I research (e.g. Wikipedia) the law of conservation of energy is stated only for the special case of an isolated system. I am wondering if ...
0
votes
1answer
375 views

first law of thermodynamics and conservation of energy

The first law of thermodynamics is referred to as a reformulation of the law of conservation of energy. I am not sure to fully understand this relationship. My way of picturing it is the following. ...
0
votes
2answers
227 views

Current on both sides of a capacitor

When a capacitor is connected to a DC circuit, what ensures that the current on both sides of the capacitor is the same? When charges arrive at one end of the capacitor they stop moving; presumably ...
0
votes
3answers
35 views

Finding an object's final velocity with distance dependant force [duplicate]

I am (just for fun) trying to calculate the velocity with which the moon would impact the earth if it stopped orbiting and simply headed towards earth. I know the force is $\frac{G m_1 m_2}{r^2}$. ...
-7
votes
1answer
43 views

Can we produce energy from pure substance having considerable mass? [closed]

According to Einstein's formula, $E=mc^2$. Any substance which has mass can be converted into energy or energy is also existing in the form of mass. So I am very much interested to build a machine ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Do virtual particles actually physically exist?

I have heard virtual particles pop in and out of existence all the time, most notable being the pairs that pop out beside black holes and while one gets pulled away. But wouldn't this actually violate ...
0
votes
4answers
243 views

How is energy converted when massless spring is attached to a rigid support

Say a massless spring of length $l$ is attached to a rigid support. It is extended to length $l + x$. Now at this position, the force extending it is removed. How will its potential energy be ...
-1
votes
3answers
48 views

Change in linear momentum [closed]

Let A and B be to rigid blocks. A is stationary while B is moving with a velocity $u$. So if B collides with A. (These blocks are on a frictionless surface.) What would happen after B collides with ...
0
votes
3answers
938 views

Conservation of Angular Momentum, as related to a flywheel

Trying to work out some pesky flywheel dynamics for a project I'm working on, would love some for your assistance to better understand the underlying concepts. For a given flywheel (thin-walled ...
0
votes
2answers
117 views

Why is the object's maximum speed at $x=0$ for spring?

My book derives velocity of the hanging object of a horizontal spring (on frictionless surface) as a function position: $$v=\pm \sqrt{\frac{k}{m}(A^2-x^2)}$$ and shows the maximum speed is at when x ...
-2
votes
1answer
35 views

In this energy conservation problem, why are the answers different with different units? [closed]

Really basic question, but basically I'm given a change in height in centimeters (that's how I measured it). From that, I'm supposed to find the initial kinetic energy. $KE_i = PE_f$ After doing ...
5
votes
1answer
51 views

Understanding potential energy

I am self-studying the classical mechanics using the book by Taylor, and I have a question about the potential energy. The book (pg 111) says: If all forces on an object are conservative, we can ...
0
votes
2answers
235 views

Changing momentum of moving trolley

Consider a trolley of mass $m$ moving at a velocity $v$ along a smooth horizontal plane. It is full of water, and water is leaking at a constant rate out of the bottom of the trolley, i.e ...
0
votes
2answers
745 views

In wave motion of a string both kinetic energy and potential energy are minimum at $y=y_\text{max}$ then why does the string comes down again?

In wave motion of a string both kinetic energy and potential energy are minimum at $y=y_\text{max}$ then why does the string comes down again? As everything in tries to attain lowest energy possible ...
7
votes
2answers
167 views

Do all forms of energy fall under kinetic and potential energy?

I know that energy is recognized through motion. Even in the mass-energy equivalence a velocity is present even though it is a rest-energy (Not really sure if this would count as a potential energy ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

What are the conditions for the string of a pendulum to become slack? [closed]

Suppose the bob of a stationary pendulum is given a sharp hit to impart it some horizontal speed. Now what are the conditions for the string to become slack after rotating a particular angle? ...
1
vote
2answers
37 views

Why do people say that 'power flows' into or out of a component in an electric circuit?

Currently, I am learning about electric circuits, and how to apply the basic concepts of physics, like work and energy. But I keep running into the same phrase--on Wikipedia, my textbooks, ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Are all heaters exactly as energy efficient as each other?

I many applications, efficiency is measured in terms of how much of the input energy is wasted generating heat instead of the actual type of energy you want. For example, lightbulbs generating heat ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Free fall in non-uniform field

Imagine I'm a space-diver, with mass $m_1 $, 500 miles above the Earth's surface at $x_i$. I want to calculate my position, velocity, and acceleration as a function of time, accounting for the Earth's ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Energy conservation around a black hole

In the Schwarzschild black hole, the Killing vector "time translation" $k^a$, so that the following quantity is conserved along a geodesic: $$E = -g_{ab}k^au^b = (1 - ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Is Phone-Charging Plant Product Even Possible?

Bioo, a new company making the rounds in the press, claims to produce "electricity from plants' photosynthesis." Specifically, their website claims that a single potted plant with their integrated ...
6
votes
1answer
237 views

Lorentz invariance, energy-momentum conservation & the locality of interactions

I have been reading these notes ("Minkowski Spacetime: A Hundred Years Later", by Vesselin Petkov) 1, in which the author states (in the middle of the text on page 137) that "The only Lorentz ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Derivation of Poynting theorem in matter

In most textbooks I have read they derive the Poynting theorem using the Maxwell's Equation in vacuum and the fact that the force density $f=\pmb{E} \cdot \pmb{J}$. Then they just generalize it ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

What are the assumptions behind the Lagrangian derivation of energy?

What are the assumptions behind the Lagrangian derivation of energy? I understand that we're searching for a function $L$ that describes a set of physics so that solving the energy minimization ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

Is expectation value of the Hamiltonian always the energy? [duplicate]

There are time dependent & space dependent systems (magnetic fields) and time independent (particle in a box or harmonic oscillator). In the latter the expectation value is the 'average' energy ...
-3
votes
1answer
67 views

Do you know the principle which says that connecting two sources of similar kind produces a waste and destruction? [closed]

There is a great article, called commutation cells, which states that you cannot transfer kinetic energy from one container to another immediately, bypassing the potential energy storage. Otherwise, ...
0
votes
2answers
178 views

In a CMCS 2-body system, why does the speed of the particles after collision stay the same?

A particle $m_1$ is traveling with velocity $v$ toward a stationary particle $m_2$. The velocity of the center of mass is given as $v_c=\frac{m_1}{m_1+m_2}v$. Changing to a moving coordinate system, ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Conservation of energy and realm of possibility

The law of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Based on this principle, you can safely conclude that any effect resulting from a cause must somehow keep all ...
4
votes
3answers
498 views

Poynting's theorem - energy conservation

Poynting's theorem: $$\int_V\left(\vec{E}\cdot\vec{J}\right)\,\mathrm dV = -\dfrac{\partial}{\partial t}\int_V\dfrac{1}{2}\left(\epsilon_0 E^2 + \dfrac{1}{\mu_0}B^2\right)\,\mathrm dV - ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Expansion of the Universe and Conservation of Energy [duplicate]

How the expansion of the universe doesn't violate the principle of the conservation of energy? If we would put a spring between two objects, the distance would get bigger between them, so would the ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Collision time of two particles [duplicate]

The question I am trying to answer is the following. Consider two particles of mass $m_1,m_2$, initially at rest at a distance $2a$ apart. They are attracted to each other via Newton's law with ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

How does the uncertainty principle relate to quantum fluctuations?

I found a webpage that just kind of mentions the uncertainty principle lightly but doesn't really go into detail as to why we need it in the first place when considering quantum fluctuations and ...
2
votes
3answers
133 views

Where does the energy go when engine braking?

If you're in gear in a car and not accelerating, the car slows down faster than it would from just air resistance and tire deformation. In normal braking, the energy is turned into heat from the brake ...
4
votes
3answers
76 views

Where does the energy of a photon trying to escape a black hole go?

I've heard "light cannot escape a black hole" explained several ways. One is that if a photon inside the event horizon tries to escape a black hole it loses energy to gravity. As it loses energy its ...
1
vote
6answers
91 views

Why does positive work done by internal conservative forces $\implies$ decrease of potential energy?

Potential energy can be thought as the amount of work that the force can potentially do on the point because of its position. $$W=-\Delta U=U_{initial}-U_{final}$$ A positive work done by a force ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Why can't an ocean liner be powered by an engine that takes heat from the ocean water and eject ice cubes?

The following excerpt comes from the physics textbook Understanding Physics, by David Cassidy, Gerald Holton, and James Rutherford: A ball lying on the floor will not somehow gather energy from ...
-5
votes
2answers
80 views

If I spinned a fan in a vacuum it will keep spinning forever. Why can we not make energy out of it? [duplicate]

Suppose we created a vacuum and spinned a turbine inside it with some amount of force. According to newton's second law it will keep spinning as there is no air resistance, so why can we not make ...